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the computer after a moment.

A moment later, a panel slid open and a large case slid into view. Sheridan picked it up. His arm sagged under its heft, and he grunted slightly as he pulled it free and headed for the exit bay.

As he walked, he dwelt for a moment on the origin of his password. Abraxas, a fierce angel, pictured with a lion's head and a man's body, but with legs ending like those of a scorpion. Some believed the name to be the basis for the magical word, "abracadabra."

Never had it been more appropriate than at this moment. He was going to have to fly like an angel on an errand of mercy... provide what might be a last roar of Humanity, sting with the fierceness of a scorpion... and hope that he could pull one hell of a rabbit out of his hat.

For some insane reason, he thought of Christmas, as if he were a space-going Santa. And he couldn't help but think that the nuclear device he was carrying at the moment was going to make a serious stocking stuffer. An atomic lump of coal.

"Ho ho ho," he murmured.

Lennier lay on the floor of the corridor, unmoving. At one point several of the insurgents walked right over him, on their way to do the bidding of their new masters.

He floated upward, trying to achieve consciousness, and there was something just above him....

We welcome you.

He flinched from it, trying to back away and escape it...

. . . sees you, Lennier. We see you, and see her. We know her. We can give her to you. We can give you so much.

You stand on the outskirts of the dark city, and you can see it there, can you not. It is there, and it is calling to you.

You stand on the precipice, looking up at it, and it seems to stretch into infinity. And there are so many others, a field of them, so many clustered around and worshipping.
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